It’s the 2004 Senior Bowl in Mobile, Alabama.
Philip Rivers, North Carolina State quarterback, leads the South to a 28-10 victory over the North.
That was the year Marvin Lewis, Head Coach of the Cincinnati Bengals and the man coaching the North team, got his first taste of Rivers.
“Obviously he’s continued to grow as a fine player, but he was there and he was a fine leader,” Lewis remarked. “Obviously, the Chargers staff was coaching the other side and had Philip on their team, so they saw great things in him which caused the move they made to get Philip. I don’t think he’s disappointed anybody there.”
Rivers was named MVP of the Senior Bowl, and now in his 15th NFL season, he’s on the hunt for an MVP title once again. Through 12 games, Rivers has completed 265 of 380 passes, throwing for 3,418 yards and a 69.7 completion percentage – his highest ever.
He’s also authored several record-setting accomplishments this season, including setting the single-game NFL record with 25-straight completions to start the Week 12 game against the Arizona Cardinals.
However, Rivers isn’t doing this all alone. It’s thanks to stellar receivers, running backs and a stout offensive line that he’s able to put up these numbers. There’s one specific connection though that is proving to be productive.
“What Keenan Allen and Philip Rivers are doing in the pass game (is) very impressive right now,” Lewis noted.
Allen showed out in Sunday’s primetime win over the Pittsburgh Steelers with 14 catches for 148 yards (10.8 avg.) and one touchdown. The elite wide receiver has scored a touchdown in each of the last four games.
Thus, Lewis knows his Bengals team is facing a Chargers squad playing as well as anyone in the league right now.
“They’ve really done a great job of coming together,” Lewis said. “They’ve been hot right now on offense. They’ve won close games, they’ve won games by a wide margin, they’re winning games and they’re making plays that are game-changing, game-winning plays.”